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Discourse Process. 2012;49(3-4):192-212. Epub 2012 May 23.

Bodily-visual practices and turn continuation.

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University of Wisconsin-Madison.


This paper considers points in turn construction where conversation researchers have shown that talk routinely continues beyond possible turn completion, but where we find bodily-visual behavior doing such turn extension work. The bodily-visual behaviors we examine share many features with verbal turn extensions, but we argue that embodied movements have distinct properties that make them well-suited for specific kinds of social action, including stance display and by-play in sequences framed as subsidiary to a simultaneous and related verbal exchange. Our study is in line with a research agenda taking seriously the point made by Goodwin (2000a, b, 2003), Hayashi (2003, 2005), Iwasaki (2009), and others that scholars seeking to account for practices in language and social interaction do themselves a disservice if they privilege the verbal dimension; rather, as suggested in Stivers/Sidnell (2005), each semiotic system/modality, while coordinated with others, has its own organization. With the current exploration of bodily-visual turn extensions, we hope to contribute to a growing understanding of how these different modes of organization are managed concurrently and in concert by interactants in carrying out their everyday social actions.

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